God Will Use ANYONE to Help You
Key Scriptures: Nehemiah 2:17-20;
I love the book of Nehemiah, because of what it represents in terms of who God will use to help you for HIS work.
A bit of background, Nehemiah is the King’s cupbearer during the Persian captivity of Israel. He hears that some of the remnants left in Jerusalem were living in disgrace. The walls and gates of the city had been destroyed and laid open to the attack. Walls and gates around an ancient city provided safety and security to the inhabitants of the city. It was said that Jericho's walls were as thick as a 6-lane highway, and could accommodate houses on its walls. We know this from the story of Joshua in chapter 2 of the book. As they were spying out the land of Jericho, before the invasion, they met with Rahab, who lived on the walls of the city. The city was also built like a citadel, so the inhabitants, in particular, the watchmen inside could easily see from the vantage points any impending enemy attack.
So the lack of walls, doors, and gates meant that any city would be opened to attack and extremely vulnerable. So, on hearing the plight of his people back in Jerusalem, Nehemiah is distressed and anxious, but even in the emotional turmoil that he finds himself, he knows he must go to God. Often when we are in moments of turmoil we stay away from the presence, but that is the time we must draw nearer to God.
In going before God, Nehemiah can get the much-needed help for his plight, which he receives from a most unlikely source! Chapter 2:4-5 'Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favour in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.'
Chapter 2:6b. 'It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time'.
I love this verse. The prayer of Nehemiah is answered. The King sets him a time to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls and the city gates. This is the lesson; God facilitates Nehemiah's help to come from the Persian King of his captivity!
The King serves the servant.
So what else can we learn and activate in our lives?
Some Observations From the Text
Nehemiah was distraught by the plight of his people left in Jerusalem.
Question: What problems/issues do you see that concern you so much that it leaves you distraught like Nehemiah?
Sometimes we are concerned about the issues but, not so concerned that we cannot shift them off our minds and go back to 'normal'. But if like Nehemiah we cannot rest, we will pray and fast to get the solution.
Nehemiah also was not phased by the questions coming from the King - This is Key
Question: Do people of rank intimidate you? Nehemiah is a servant to the King, but when asked the question 'why are you sad' He could have easily responded 'It's ok your majesty I don't want to trouble you with my problems.
Nehemiah was asked the question 'what were his requirements?'
Question: Are you specific enough, do you know what you want?
Often we don't know exactly what it is that we need or require. So we cannot ask. What do you need for your assignment? We must have the answers uppermost in our minds to answer the question(s) without hesitation.
Nehemiah knew that he would face opposition during the work and his enemies' tactics, but had a strategy for this.
Question: Do you know that you WILL face opposition? we must know that during the building of our assignment, we will face opposition and know the enemy's strategy to our lives and assignment. Is it a distraction, fear, wearing you down, betrayal, a feeling of loneliness, etc? But you must know what they are.
Of course, there are so many more things to learn and observe from the text, but these are just a few.
If we are obedient to God and to what he requires of us, He will send or revealed the most unlikely people to assists us in the work He has called us to do
Please note this is also a prayer principle. I call it 'Go to the 'KING about a King'
Nehemiah goes to God (the heavenly KING) first about the earthy King Artaxerxes. We all know about earthy kings in our everyday lives, I am using the word king very loosely. These people can be your boss, work colleagues even family members it doesn't matter who, but they are in charge of a 'domain' or 'territory' - the 'work terrain, home terrain, etc'
But just like Nehemiah if you are ever in a situation where you need God to change an outcome of a situation under their control or rule you can go to HIM first. He is the KING of kings, over every domain and territory in Psalm 103:19 'The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all'
And just as Nehemiah accessed favour and victory so will you, as you pray this prayer over the situation and using the Word of God in faith.
'Give your servant success today by granting him favour in the presence of this man'